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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve!

It is New Year's Eve here in Japan. My husband and sons are gathered around the TV watching the television variety show marathon that all of Japan watches on New Year's Eve. It starts from 6:30 and goes past midnight. All the acts that are invited to be on the show (musical and comedy) consider it to be the honor of the year. I find the musical acts insipid and overwrought, and the comedy veers towards slapstick, so that whole thing bores me. But my three guys are in there howling away. I usually get a book and curl up on the couch next to them, and try to ignore the show.

At midnight many people try to be at a temple to hear the bell ring 108 times. We don't go to that, and actually can't hear it from our home -- we are in close proximity to several Shinto shrines, but not to any Buddhist temples. Luckily we can hear the 108 tolls of the bell helpfully provided on television.

While we are thinking about the year starting and years passing, here's something fun: the OED Birthday Word Generator.  Discover an English word whose first known usage was in the year of your birth.


Happy New Year to all!
 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

True Poems

If you are writing (or are thinking about writing) narrative poetry, particularly in the first person (i.e. the persona poem), the Poetry Foundation has a good article by Kathleen Rooney on poetry that appears to be autobiographical, but isn't. While defending the right of poets to be completely imaginative and fictional in what they write, Rooney recognizes that sometimes readers of poems or collections that appear to be autobiographical and yet aren't can feel cheated when they discover the 'truth'. Whereas a reader comes to a novel expecting to read an invented story, poetry readers sometimes are lulled by the emotional responses they have to poetry into forgetting that a similar contract exists between writer and reader in poetry. In short, they can feel emotionally manipulated when they discover an experience they had assumed to be true isn't.

Though I also defend the poet's right to be inventive, just last week when reading Frances McCue's The Bled (Factory Hollow Press, 2010), about the death of  McCue's husband, I became overly concerned with how her husband had died, which is not made clear in the collection of poetry. It is understood that her husband had been young and healthy and the death thus unexpected, and that there was some trauma to the head that partially or perhaps fully resulted in his passing, but it wasn't until I tracked down a newspaper interview with McCue that I realized that her husband had collapsed while playing basketball and hit his head when falling, and died. Perhaps I should have picked this up from the poetry--there was a poem about her husband on the basketball court--but somehow I didn't. And when I did learn it, I wondered if it helped me understand the work more than I had previously, and wondered why it had mattered to me. And I couldn't say that having the knowledge was helpful on the level of understanding the art, but it gave me some sense of reality that apparently I had wanted, even while I agree with Rooney that the poet doesn't owe that to the reader, and the reader shouldn't assume it. The vagueness of the cause of death had made me wary of McCue's 'truth', but why should it have? She didn't own me a true story, and even if presenting a true story, she didn't owe me all the details. This is poetry after all, not reporting. But still, I had been disconcerted enough to try and find the details on my own.

Rooney's article covers both her assessment that it is the reader's failure of imagination that results in their own disappointment as well as an opposing viewpoint of critic David Ulin, who says “the tension between the confessional voice and our knowledge that what it is describing didn’t really happen, is too substantial, and the poem collapses under its own narrative weight.”

While I agree with Rooney fundamentally, I can see the need to be sensitive to what Ulin says, to the reader's experience. Hmmmmmmm. Food for thought, particularly regarding what I'm writing currently.





Saturday, December 28, 2013

Books Under the Tree

Here are the books I got for Christmas this year:

End of the Sentimental Journey: A Mystery Poem (Infidel Poetics)

The Traps (Stahlecker Series Selection)
In case you can't read the covers, they are Sampson Starkweather's The First Four Books of Sampson Starkweather, Sarah Vap's End of the Sentimental Journey: A Mystery Poem, and Louise Mathias's The Traps.

Books I gave included : Peter Dickinson's The Tears of the Salamander, the Stephen Hawking's children's trilogy co-written with his daughter Lucy Hawking and including George and the Key to the Universe, George and the Big Bang, and George and the Cosmic Treasure Hunt, a field guide to the birds of Japan, and a non-fiction photo essay of leopard geckos.

What books did you get and give?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Comfort and Joy



Simon and Garfunkel.
 
Merry Christmas to All. May You Have Comfort and Joy.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Advent, by Rae Armantrout


Advent                  Rae Armantrout           from Poetry Magazine, June 2009 issue


In front of the craft shop,
a small nativity,
mother, baby, sheep
made of white
and blue balloons.

                  *

Sky
           god
                      girl.

Pick out the one
that doesn’t belong.

                  *

Some thing

close to nothing
                               flat
from which,

fatherless,
everything has come.
 
 
*******************************
 
Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Open Heart Project

I've been interested in meditation for a long time, and have in the past attempted to establish a meditation practice of my own, but it never "took". I would practice a few weeks and then forget, or be unsure if I was doing it "correctly", or I would feel foolish. For one reason or another, I would always end up dropping out.

Then a few months ago I heard an interview with Susan Piver, a meditation leader, and impressed by what I learned, I signed up for her Open Heart Project. The Open Heart Project is an online meditation practice which sends you meditation practice videos twice a week, for free. The twice-weekly discussion of how to do the meditation practice help give me confidence that I'm doing it "right" (although I admit I don't use all of Susan's techniques, but have replaced a few with techniques I learned from other attempts at meditation practice). Susan's practice calls for 10-minute meditations, which I can handle. There's no feeling of inadequacy for not sitting an hour or two at a time. And she even says that taking the weekend off is okay, as long as you otherwise commit to your schedule.

What really works for me is that Susan's advice is not to feel guilty or inadequate when your mind wanders during practice. She teaches a loving acceptance of one's self, and one's tendencies to stray. "Just bring your attention back," she says, and she even congratulates you when your mind has wandered,  with, "Congratulations, you've just woken up."

My sleep issues have lessened substantially since I began practicing, and I'm less prone to get frustrated and angry. The acceptance of self and others and the world that comes through Susan's guidance has really been useful for me.

So that's what I wanted to tell you today.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Writing, Order, & Chaos


Brain Pickings, which is a website worth following, has put all its advice from writers for writers in one handy post, yay! Very useful.

Scrolling down it I saw a piece by Isabel Allende called "Writing Brings Order to the Chaos of Life," which it does. That's often the point of writing--to make sense out of the chaos you feel and observe.

But what immediately popped into my mind is that writing also brings chaos to the order of life, which is what is happening to me right now. I am writing about subjects and events that are difficult for me to face, feelings for which I have tamped down tightly for most of my life--I'm letting them out, and all the order I have imposed upon these disorderly feelings is coming out all over the place.

Which seems to be making for good (hopefully), and prolific amounts, of poetry.

What it's doing for my life so far seems good, some resolution and all that, but check back later when I've consulted those whose feelings will also be disturbed by what I'm writing.

Writing takes what you have, either order or chaos, and undoes it, replaces it with its inverse, it seems to me.

What do you think?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Miracle Fish

 

I swap books on an online swapping site (which I haven't blogged about because I think there are problems with the system, though I still use it). Recently I decided I wanted to actually read through a complete translation of the Tao teh Ching, instead of just knowing the bits that are quoted here and there. So I swapped for a copy via this site. Fortune Teller Miracle Fish


The book came with a bookmark in it, a not-unusual (and a very welcome) gesture made by the giver of the book. This one was a small white veneer plastic bag with a picture of a fish doing the backstroke among the waves of an ocean's surface, with the words "Fortune Teller" at the top, and the words "Miracle Fish" at the bottom.

On the back of the bag it reads:

Fortune Teller Fish

Place fish in palm of the hand and its movements will indicate

Moving Head...................Jealousy
Moving Tail.....................Indifference
Moving Head and Tail.....In Love
Curving Sides...................Fickle
Turns Over.......................Dead One
Motionless........................False
Curls Up Entirely.............Passionate

Made in Taiwan

What a strange and truncated list of emotions, I thought. Does Jealousy + Indifference = In Love, I wondered.

Then I took the plastic fish out of the bag and held it in my palm (tell me you wouldn't have done the same thing!?!?!).

Its head moved and floated up from my hand. Jealous, me? No. I put the fish back in the envelope, placed it again between the pages of my book (to flatten and neutralize it), and took it out again and placed it on my palm. Again, jealousy. I did the rigamarole a third time, and once again, jealousy.

Either this fish is broken, or I'm jealous, I thought (and then remembered that I don't believe in this kind of malarky). But still, I had been having feelings of jealousy recently. Well, not jealousy exactly, which seems like a focused emotion, but its free-floating cousin, whatever that would be called, the feeling that so many poets are getting recognition these days, while my work (which I think has been good work for the past couple of years) goes unnoticed by the world.

I'd been suffering enough from this idea lately that I'd recently taken out the book Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland, where I'd read:

"Making art now means working in the face of uncertainty; it means living with doubt and contradiction, doing something no one much cares whether you do, and for which there may neither audience nor reward. Making the work you want to make means setting aside these doubts so that you may see clearly what you have done, and thereby see where to go next. Making the work you want to make means finding nourishment within the work itself. This is not the Age of Faith, Truth and Certainty." (p. 2)

Just what I needed to read: and it reminded me that just in the month of November alone I had written eight brand new poems (and already had three accepted to a journal) and had drafted a ninth--this is an unheard of rate for me, but I knew that it was because I had finally tackled a topic I had been avoiding for years, and the poems were just coming to me because they'd been percolating in my unconscious mind, waiting for me to be brave enough to listen to them. I was writing the work I wanted to write, and I was finding nourishment in it, and that was what I needed to be focused on.

And then the next day I got an acceptance for five poems to a journal I had not expected to accept the work.

Doing the work: it's what matters, the work that you want to do. That's the miracle. Of the fish.

Okay, not of the fish.....of you, of the creative process, of the work.

And this morning I got a rejection from a journal which has twice before told me to "submit again, you are getting close." With the same message today: close, but no.

Do the work. The rest may come or it may not; but you will be nourished by your own work (and, if it so happens, by some fish).
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Writing Wild

For a few months I've been writing with the principle that surprise is one of the most important elements of the line (see this previous post for more on the genesis of this idea). While I still think this is a point to keep in mind, I heard something the other day that made me think more deeply.

I was listening to a speech about the importance of wildness as an element of society (particularly with regards to coming-of-age rituals), and the speaker said something about the potency of wildness within boundaries, within constraints, and I thought, "But that's what poetry is--wildness within constraints." At least good poetry is, anyway.

It occurred to me that aiming for surprise in a line is a weaker version, a shadow, of aiming for the power of wildness within boundaries (think of the form of a coiled snake). Out-and-out wildness can devolve into chaos, but wildness within circumscribed boundaries perhaps comes nearer to the human condition than surprise itself does, without completely terrifying us the way that real chaos does.

And it seemed to me something to keep in mind with respect to writing poems, especially those about the chaos of our lives and emotions. Surprise is a good tool, yes, but it is only one shade of what we can do with the wildness within us.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Priorities

If I don't dust and vacuum the living room, the dust and detritus will still be there tomorrow, plus some, ready to be vacuumed.

If I don't grade these papers, they'll be stacked up on my desk tomorrow, no more and no less.

If I don't write this poem now, but instead write one tomorrow, it will be a different poem, and this one will be lost.

If I don't sit down with a pen and paper and wait patiently, even if I don't write any poems at all today, then tomorrow when I sit down to write I will have to work through the emptiness I will have avoided today.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What Next?


1) Despite having piles of books everywhere, many as-yet-unread, I'm always wondering what to read next, and looking around for more books. If you are like me, you'll be glad for Ron Slate's semi-annual poetry feature, in which 14 poets recommend books of other poets. You can find a poet you admire (say Idra Novey, Anna Journey, or Shane McRae) and see whose work they selected, maybe someone unknown to you (which is always exciting). Or you might be alerted to the fact that an already admired poet (say, Kate Greenstreet or Carl Phillips) has a new book out you hadn't heard about yet. In either case, it's worth a quick look at these recommendations.

2) Thanks to an old friend from my writing group in Florida (eons ago), Mary Bast, I've recently come to know about the work in erasure supported by the Silver Birch Press. So far they've begun an anthology called Silver Birch Press NOIR Erasure Poetry Anthology (sorry, submissions already closed) and are currently collecting poems for a Valentine's Day anthology (submissions still open), with one of Mary's already featured here. Lots of erasure poems can be found on the Silver Birch Press blog, so for those of you interested in the form, it's a good resource.

 3) Recently I've been working on some poems with an emotionally difficult subject matter. However, they are coming quickly, if painfully, which signals to me that it is the time to deal with this subject matter. Interestingly, the other day I was stuck on two of the poems, needed a title for one, and one last phrase for the other. What to do next? I went to bed thinking, I need to look at Edward Hirsch's work. I have no idea why I thought this (I haven't read any Hirsch in a few years) but I felt compelled. So the next morning I pulled down my Hirsch books, opened one which had a bookmark in it and read the bookmarked poem, flipped through and read a few more. And then I had both the title of the one poem and the missing bit of the other. The words I needed weren't in the Hirsch book, but they were triggered by it. Probably reading many different things would have triggered the words for me, but somehow my unconscious mind knew Hirsch would do it. And so, listen to your unconscious mind, that old refrain. (I'm uncomfortable writing about this, because I think of myself as a rational person, not whoo-whoo at all, but see, I'm arguing that accessing the unconscious is a rational thing to do, though it feels kind of whoo-whoo.)

Speaking of which, I've had the urge recently to do something about the composer Aaron Copland. I don't know why, but he's been heavily on my mind, and somehow I feel resistant. I don't know that much about him, so I looked at some biographical material online and I listened to Appalachian Suite (on YouTube--amazing, you can just want to listen to something and there it is). Appalachian Suite was my introduction to Copland, in music class in the seventh grade, and even then I felt drawn to and resistant to Copland. My son's music festival was last week, and they performed Holst's Jupiter. My son was humming it around that house, and that got me to humming it, and I actually insisted to my son that it was Copland, and he insisted it wasn't, and we looked it up and of course it wasn't. But don't you think Jupiter has that Copland sound? Anyway, must overcome my resistance and figure out why Copland is haunting me these days.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Rejection Etiquette Rant


I love submitting online. As a person living abroad, this saves me postage and the trouble of keeping return postage from another country handy (which can be hard to come by when you can't just drop by the post office), and of course I get the same benefits that domestic submitters do: saving ink and paper, saving time.

That said, I have not had such great experiences with submitting manuscripts online. For example, today I happened to visit the website of a publisher to whose competition I had sent my manuscript via their own online submissions manager, and I discovered, though this wasn't the reason I had gone to their website, that they have already announced their contest winner, but hadn't bothered to notify the rejected entrants directly. Apparently we were supposed to check their website frequently, until the result showed up. Two other contests have also not bothered to report directly to me that they had chosen winners, but seemed to assume that I would check their websites repeatedly, and I mean repeatedly since neither one made their announcement within the timeframe they had established in their guidelines. One contest announced their results on Facebook only, not even on their website. I wasn't on Facebook at the time; how was I supposed to know?

To all of these places each entrant has paid a fee, and provided an email address. Is it too much to ask for a form letter to show up in our inboxes, or for the presses to use an online submissions manager that will contact us when the result has been made?

(FYI: None of these places had given instructions in their submissions guidelines or elsewhere on their webpages to check back for results on such-and-such a date. That I can deal with; I mark my calendar and check the website only once, knowing already that if I have to check the website to get the news, it isn't good news for me. That is not the kind of behavior I am talking about.)

These insulting behaviors are not limited to online submissions. Today I received a rejection letter via the dreaded SASE for a manuscript that was sent snail mail just exactly a year ago. The winner had been announced on the press website back in APRIL, and at that time I wondered why they hadn't informed me directly via the SASE that they had required me to send. Today I see that they have used that SASE to report the winner seven months after the fact and to suggest that I try and enter again this year, as their deadline is the end of this month. They saved my SASE for seven months in order to use it for their own marketing purposes.

I get that presses are small, often non-profit organizations. I support them: I buy directly from them, I subscribe to journals and to repeated purchase programs, I make donations. I don't ask for a personal rejection, just for a direct one. Am I really supposed to spend time (that would be better spend practicing my craft) obsessively checking their websites and/or Facebook pages? Spending that kind of time and attention chasing down results isn't productive or good for my focus or morale.

I know that editors are overworked and are often volunteers. But still, basic etiquette, people. Not to mention good business practices...

Personal Lexical Gaps


My children get their English mostly from me; they go to school in Japanese, and when they are out of the house, it's all Japanese. With their Dad too, it's Japanese. So their English mostly comes from me, which is interesting because when I hear them use any phrase, I know I must use it too; sometimes I'm surprised to find out what I sound like. Likewise when there's a gap in their personal lexicon, I know I must never have used whichever word is missing in their presence.

So the other day I was telling my 11-year-old son a story about someone doing something stupid, and I ended the story with, "Duh!"

After a beat, my son said, "Mom, what's  'Duh' mean?" I had a very brief self-congratulatory moment, thinking I must not have spoken condescendingly about anyone to him before, when I realized that I had just broken my previously unknown and now-no-longer-commendable streak.

"It's when you expect someone to know something, and when they don't, you want to let them know that you are surprised that they don't know it," I said as diplomatically as I could. "Actually, it's not very nice," I added, in the hopes that he would decide not to use it in the future.

My hopes were immediately dashed.

"As in "You don't know what 'Duh' means???? Duh!" he said.

We both laughed. "You have a great sense of irony," I told him.

After a brief pause, he said, "Mom, what's 'irony'?"


*******************************

Yesterday I got the nicest rejection letter ever, nicer even than many acceptance letters I've received. It's an art, the personal rejection.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Blurb This!

"Punctuated by subversive humor, verbal theatrics, and moments of strange luminous beauty, Goodfellow's clear unsentimental poems are meditations and mediations on contemporary existence and the unreliability of language, emotions, and memory's ability to gather it all in."

That's the first sentence of a blurb about my manuscript Mendeleev's Mandala. Sound good so far? Well, how about later on, when it claims,

"Lust, love, contempt, disgust, parental guidance, and poetic revenge, crafted with unbridled imagination and unmistakable skill, Goodfellow's poetry is not for the masses, but it is for everyone."

How about this?:

"It's as if Dylan Thomas and Jack Kerouac danced together in the cemetery of Spoon River, in the light of a projected image of Joe Brainard flickering on fleeting clouds, while teaching the intricate steps to the ghost of Maximus."

Still like the blurb? Happily you don't have to, as it isn't real. It's from Dan Waber's Blurbinator, a project in which Waber compiled a mass of actual blurbs, found the patterns in them ("a certain structure, a four-part formula, very often exactly four sentences but easily broken down into four beats with variations"), and made a random blurb generator to expose and mock the blurbing system (expose and mock are my words, not his).

His words are: "I believe this appropriation of texts written by others fall squarely under the Fair Use provisions for parody. My intent here is to show that these texts are, themselves, a joke. If the sentences can be randomly mixed with other sentences of the same type and have arbitrary names and titles substituted I hope it's pretty clear they're not saying anything of value about any specific book."

Try it with your name and title, and see if you agree! I do!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Minimum Words

Look what Don DeLillo does in The Body Artist, with so few words and without hitting the reader over the head again and again with his intention (as I would have done):

"The ferry ran on schedule and this was reason enough to make the trip now and then.

The plan was to organize time until she could live again."  (p. 37)


That's the end of the paragraph. In fact it comes right before a break of white space indicating a new scene.





Like the break just above this line, only I haven't started a new scene a new idea. So now let's do that.





I give up.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cento Absento

A year and a half ago I wrote a blog post about the cento form. I tried it out myself, and forgot about it till today when I came across my effort in a pile of old poems. It's below (all 100 lines, followed by the sources of the lines). I had some fun with weaving enjambments between the lines of disparate poets. Hope you enjoy it. (Apologies for some formatting problems.) (Also, I sometimes messed with the punctuation of the original lines, for my own devious purposes.)



Cento Absento


I am a figure in a logic problem                                                         
gone wild with error,
such as tipping the future a little too far forward or             
the air has found something of itself to regret.                                  

Every microcosm needs its crow.                                          
The mind is a tiny island you’ve washed up on.                                
Everything has to be reimagined each sunrise—                               
a landscape, and a person walking in that landscape.                        

Be courageous when the mind deceives you, be                               
made of my womb's long-playing record. Listen to                          
the hammer's shadow in the shadow of a hand,                                
no larger than a bird coffin.                                                             

One finds what he wants, so he steps to the edge, drops,                 
or, defying physics through ceremony,                                              
will simply be the cessation of asking, a thousand                            
of someone else's memory: obey gravity.                                          

No map I carry hints at this:                                                              
to float you must float from within,                                                  
smiling inside a twirling of ovals and ellipses                        
inventing pizzicato as they fled the horizon.                                     

Don't you imagine the leaves think how                                            
they mapped with their bodies? We visited                                      
the door closed against the half-lit hall                                              
we always seem to be opening but never ever do.                            

Rain breaks and falls like the mismatched                                         
bones beneath the skin of a hand.                                                      
The lights go on in all the windows but one.                                     
In the best paintings some key figure is always missing. This is the magic   

of a kiss. The world is repeatedly stained,                                         
was a different color for each of us. My shadow                              
accepts the weight of birds                                                                
each morning. Each evening hands them back.                                 

Beauteous forms of substance wild                                       
are saying birds between them. Sun through green leaves like green
rainwater on a piano—I'm so                                                             
surprised at the earth.                                                                         

I know the ocean is glamorous,                                                         
and solstice fish, their eyes gone milky white,                                  
flat lime white, as they flash their semaphores.                                 
I sit in front of what the inevitable will do.                                       

Let's assume about the body:                                                             
for bones moonlight will do.                                                              
The body is the vehicle of a wish.                                                     
I mean I trust what breaks                                                                 

everything. Minus us, nobody offers believable explanations           
where I might gather such a thing as a face,                                      
a line, make it my mouth. I'll name                                                    
a window without a building, an eye.                                               

 Bon    Bone shuddering as though it were bird, rainy                                  
thesis regarding the origin of love, I                                                  
spill over my faint lines and anyone could cross me out.                  
What’s sacred tries itself.       

            I suppose this error will go on & on,                                                  
not torn and built of green, but of a crumbling                     
god, the ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw                    
like a boomerang—yes, something you yourself began.        

Something in you believes that it is not the end.                               
Centuries and days are made of the same fiber,                                
joints dovetailed on their own weight,                                              
painted, flying in opposite directions. Silence,                                  

a never air, the lens for being                                                             
that isn't slowly subtracting its ache,                                                 
one length of forgiveness.                                                                  
Is it true the sadder we are, the more things stand still?                   

Take your household gods,                                                                
girdled with the lightening,                                                               
each separated from the next by an unpeopled space.                       
They fight for who gets to keep                                                         
 
insect wing and squawk. I might as well                                            
so I take out a patent on slow-moving fog.                                       
I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road,                           
colder than Charon, its moon. We're not alone:                                 

here is a doll made from pieces. The pieces hate one another,       
grunt work across the hard curve of absence.                                    
The trick is to make it personal:                                                         
we are together in some birds, who fail.                                            

And the stranger's face hidden in the family picture                         
is a heavy breather that serves its queen slowly,                                
is an impossibility that has its uses—                                                 
uses; uses instead of feelings.                                                

Out of shamelessness something                                                       
polishes itself inside its temple. Ask me to repent                             
where it won't jam machinery,                                                           
tethering tools that loosen at a tug, or ones made of water, wind.    

Sound of a crow, pulling the one nail from its voice,                                    
math of cold inside the bones, a numbness—                                               
our whole body is like a harbor at dawn.                                           
Know this: blue's an illusion. The things that shelter us are colorless and     

between me and the chewing dark.                                                               
In a unit of time, in a violence of sleep,                                             
this waiting is more like waiting than I thought it would be.            
Measuring changes everything.                                                          

Voice is a silence in which now I appear                                           
to drink from the holy water of the retina,                                        
monitoring you as you go.                                                                 
The world has changed. The news will take some time to get here.

If you're wild now but have ever been domestic                               
carry your own chill, separate from the air's.                                     
What instruments we have agree                                                       
that every set has something in common with the ‘empty set.’

 
 

 

Sources for Cento Absento
 
1.      Nan Cohen, “Girder"
2.    Jennifer Chang, “Postscript”
3.      J. Allyn Rosser, “Equilibrium Update”    
4.      Jill Alexander Essbaum, “Bird Advice”     
 
5.      David Young, “Walking Home on an Early Spring Evening”   
6.      Dean Young, “Look at Quintillions Ripen’d & Look at Quintillions Green
7.      Mona van Duyn, “The Twins”
8.      Denise Levertov, “Zeroing In"
 
9.      Zbigniew Herbert, translated by John and Bogdana Carpenter,The Envoy of Mr. Cogit
10.  Lesley Jenike, “Three’s Brainchild Is”
11.  Franz Wright, “After”
12.  Bruce Bond, “Confessions of a Music Box”
 
13.  Cameron Thomas,  Apprehension in the Blurry Trees
14.  Craig Morgan Teicher, “Brenda is in the Room”
15.  Stefi Weisburd, “Little God Origami”
16.  Cynthia Arrieu-King & Ariana-Sophia Kartsonis, “Obey Gravity”
 
17.  William Pitt Root, “Out There”
18.  Larissa Szporluk , “Trapeze”
19.  Billy Collins,  “One Life to Live”
20.  Herman de Coninck translated by Laure-Anne Bosselaar and Kurt Brown, “Genesis"

 
 
 
21.      Mary Oliver, “Song for Autumn”
22.      Minati Singh, “Ode” 
23.      Marianne Boruch, “After The Moon”       
24.      Catie Rosemurgy, “All Objects Reveal Something About the Body”

25.  Emma Howell, “Tempest”
26.  Jenny Browne, “The Cry Bone’s Connected to the Why Bone”
27.  Paul Hostovsky, “Dusk Outside the Braille Press”
28.  G. C. Waldrep, “Apologia Pro Vita Tua”  
 
29.  Allison Smythe, “Something in My Eye”
30.  Pamela Alexander, “Lightfall”
31.  Mary Cornish, “Legato"
32.  Charles Wright, “China Traces” 
 
33.  Jean-Paul Pecqueur, “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice”
34.  A. E. Watkins, “No Narrative”
35.  Alice Notley, “A Baby Is Born Out of a White Owl's Forehead – 1972”
36.  W. S. Merwin, “For the Anniversary of My Death”
 
 
 
 
 
37.      Erin Belieu,  “Last Trip to the Island”
38.      Amanda Jernigan, “Lulla
39.      Robert Gibb, “Posthumous” 
40.      Jim Moore, “Blood Harmony”
 
41.  Amaud Jamaul Johnson, “Approaching Thunder”        
42.  John Lindgren, “The Invention of Birds” 
43.  Liz Waldner, “The Uses of  Things”
44.  David Rivard, “God the Broken Lock”
 
45.  Fred Muratori, “The Ghost Back Home”
46.  John Rybicki, “Her Body Like a Lantern Next to Me”
47.  Sandra Beasley, “The Sand Speaks”
48.  Young Smith, “She Considers the Dimensions of Her Soul"

49.  Colin Cheney, “Stabat Mater (Marie Curie's Pitchblende)”  
50.  Troy Jollimore, “On the Origin of Things”
51.  Tom C. Hunley, “Self-Portrait as a Child’s Stick Figure Drawing on a Refrigerator
52.  Adrienne Rich, “The Desert as Garden of Paradise"
 
53.  Jon Anderson, “The Secret of Poetry”
54.  Mark Irwin, “Voice, Distant, Still Assembling"
55.  Mary Oliver, “Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches”
56.  Carrie Etter, “The Curious Daughter"
 
57.  Frank  Bidart, “If See No End In Is"
58.  Sally Fisher, “Valse Ghazal”
59.  Jane Hirschfield, “For What Binds Us”
60.  Lightsey Darst, “="
 
61.  Dabney Stuart, “Traveling Light"
62.  Alison Titus, “Former Automotive Plant”
63.  Jennifer Moss, “The Storm”
64.  Lisa Russ Spaar, “The Geese” 
 
65.  Katie Ford, “Rarely”
66.  Czeslaw Milosz, “On Angels”
67.  Fernando Pessoa, “The Spoke to Me of People, And of Humanity”
68.  Ephraim Scott Summers, “Because the Body is Made of Water” 
 
69.  Sarah Hannah, “Tread-softly (Cnidoscolus stimulosus)
70.  Michael Dumanis, “Natural History”
71.  Mark Strand, “The Remains”
72.  Todd Charon, “Last Look” 
 
73.  William Dickey, “Chants"
74. Dean Rader, "Ocean Beach at Twilight: 14"
75. Khaled Mattawa, "Ecclesiastes"
76. Bill Knott, "Widow's Winter"
 

77.  Laura Kasischke, “At the end of the text, a small bestial form”            
78.  Sarah J. Sloat, “Book of Hours Ghazal”
79.  Vijay Seshadri, “Imaginary Numbers”
80.  Dan Chiasson,  “Tree” from “Swifts"

81.  Carl Phillips, “Civilization”
82.  C. McAllister Williams, “Flesh”
83.  Hayden Saunier, “Last Will”
84.  Jody Rambo, “I am weatherly and so”
 
85.  Bob Hicok, “Empty Similes”
86.  Joanna Klink, “Winter Field”
87.  Robert Bly, “Waking from Sleep”
88.  Dionisio D. Martínez, “Did We Betray the River”
 
89.  Lynne Knight, “Cell Talk”  
90.  Jennifer Militello, “Answering Fear as if It Were a Question”
91.  Carley Moore, “The Match”
92.  Kate Gleason, “The Velocity of Love"
 
93.  Danniel Schoonebeek, “Genealogy (rest)”  
94.  Albert Blanco translated by Jennifer Clement, “Horses by Midnight”
95.  Susan Prospere, “Ultramundane Traveller”
96.  Mark Jarman, “Dispatch from Devereux Slough"
 
97  y madrone, “Tulip is the bravest flower, I mean bird.”
98.  Joshua Corey, “A solitude of the ear buoys the breath's answer
99.  W. H. Auden, “In Memory of W.  B. Yeats”
100.          Lars Gustaffson translated by Christopher Middleton, “Notes on the 1860s”